John Tyler by Gary MayWhen John Tyler rose to the presidency because of the death of William Henry Harrison, he became the first vice-president to do so. He didn’t receive a cool nickname like “Tippecanoe”: instead, they called him “His Accidency.”
They soon called him other things. When he tried to govern according to his principles, ignoring not only Democratic desires but his own Whig party’s demands, they called him “Monsieur Veto.” When his cabinet of Whigs—except for Daniel Webster—all resigned in frustration, and the Whigs officially expelled him, they called him “The Man Without a Party.” And even later, when a generation had passed and Tyler, having voted at the Virginia convention to secede from the Union, was elected to the Confederate States House of Representatives, they called him “Traitor” too.
Perhaps his was inevitably a contentious presidency, for nobody—not even himself—seriously believed he would be president. The Whigs leaders considered him weak, and only chose him as vice-president to satisfy the patrician planters of the Old South, a minority of their uneasy coalition. But Tyler, the last of the Virginia presidents, took his states’ rights principles seriously, and fought his would-be puppet-master Henry Clay over the establishment of a new bank, and other matters. The irony was that Tyler became so isolated that he felt compelled to stretch the boundaries of executive authority merely to survive, thereby acting like the kind of imperial president a state’s rights man like himself should despise.
Still, his presidency could boast of achievements, particularly in foreign policy: the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (which fixed the Maine-Canada border and led to better relations with England) the Treaty of Wanghia (which opened China to American trade, giving the US “most favored nation” status), and established “The Tyler Doctrine” (which extended the Monroe Doctrine to include the Sandwich Islands, later the state of Hawaii), and the problematic annexation of Texas (which would soon, under President Polk, lead to the Mexican War.)
I enjoyed reading about the life of John Tyler in Gary May’s clear and concise account. He was a good man, according to his lights, a man of principle who ceased to be an ideologue when difficult circumstances forced him to be pragmatic.
He is buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery, not far from his fellow Virginia president, James Monroe.
He is the first ever to do so, setting the precedent for presidential succession. Hunt The Massachusetts Supreme Court establishes the legality of labor unions, including the right for workers to strike, in the case of Commonwealth v. It was the first time a President had wed while in office, and two days later the Tylers held a reception in the Blue Room of the White House to introduce the country to its new First Lady. She was already an invalid due to a stroke by the time she arrived in Washington, D. Letitia Tyler made only one social appearance during her entire time in the capital.
He held the office of vice president for only 33 days; he presided over the Senate for less than two hours. Despite this brief experience, John Tyler significantly strengthened the office by enforcing an interpretation of the Constitution that many of his contemporaries disputed. Tyler believed that, in the event of a vacancy in the office of president, the vice president would become more than just the acting president. He would assume the chief executive's full powers, salary, and residence as if he himself had been elected to that position. Taken for granted today, that interpretation is owed entirely to this courtly and uncompromising Virginian who brought to the vice presidency a greater diversity of governmental experience than any of his predecessors. He was the second son among the eight children of John and Mary Armistead Tyler.
As vice president-elect, Tyler remained quietly at his home in Williamsburg. He privately expressed hopes that Harrison.
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In 1841 the Tyler Precedent Clarified Who Became President When a President Died
He assumed office after the death of President William Henry Harrison , who passed away from pneumonia after just a month in the White House. A Virginian, he was elected to the state legislature at age 21 and went on to serve in the U. Congress and as governor of Virginia. As president, Tyler clashed with the Whigs, who later tried, unsuccessfully, to impeach him. He was the son of John Tyler Sr. The younger Tyler graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in , then studied law under private tutors.
John Tyler was born on March 29, in Virginia. Not much is known about his childhood though he grew up on a plantation in Virginia. His Mother died when he was only seven. He graduated from the College proper in He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in